Arsenal board member slams politics

Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov has warned that internal politics at the club threaten the side’s chances of success.

The north London outfit are renowned for living within their means and as such will not break their wage structure for star players.

As a result the likes of Gael Clichy, Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas have left in recent times, and Robin van Persie is refusing to sign a new deal at the Emirates Stadium.

The Russian executive, who is the outfit’s second-biggest shareholder, is warning that politics could lead to another trophyless campaign in 2012-13.

“We do not consider just qualifying for the Champions League to be the chief ambition of the club, and with all our hearts we support the team and wish them well for the new season,” he told Forbes Magazine.

“Victory is absolutely not ruled out, but the current politics of the club’s management will leave Arsene Wenger and his team with fewer and fewer opportunities in the long run.

“I am a fan and I am not going to sell these shares at any time, since this is the club that I consider the best in the world,” he concluded.

By Gareth McKnight